CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recognized 22 colleges and universities in Mindanao for providing educational support to dependents of soldiers killed in action, Friday, 25 November 2016 in Davao City, AFP Public Affairs Office Chief Marine Colonel Edgard A Arevalo said.
“The awardees are among the academic institutions that provide free education or tuition fee discounts to dependents of our soldiers, particularly those battle casualties or died in line of duty,” Arevalo disclosed.
The schools which include four state universities in Mindanao were recognized during the Stakeholders Recognition Ceremony at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City.
The AFP Educational Benefit System Office (EBSO) headed by Cdr Dwight Steven M Dulnoan, Chief/General Manager spearheaded the activity.
Lieutenant General Rey Leonardo B Guerrero, Commander, AFP Eastern Mindanao Command attended as the Guest of Honor and Speaker.
The AFP EBSO also awarded 14 of its scholars for their outstanding academic and extra-curricular achievements in the past school year. The student awardees came from Zamboanga, Bukidnon, Butuan, and Davao.
“Most of our scholars in EBSO are dependents of soldiers who were killed during military operations. Helping them through educational support is the least we can do to repay the ultimate sacrifice their fathers did to protect our country,” Cdr Dulnoan said.
Currently, there are 1,282 EBSO Scholars in Mindanao. This is 33% of the 3,999 total grantees nationwide, as of November 2016.
The EBSO has been providing educational assistance to dependents of military personnel, mostly battle casualties for over 16 years now. It is presently under the supervision of the AFP Deputy Chief of Staff, LtGen Salvador Melchor B Mison Jr.
Educational programs in EBSO include law-mandated programs, and those by virtue of partnerships with educational, government, socio-civic and financial institutions.
Prior to the event on Friday, EBSO visited major schools and institutions around Mindanao to encourage them to join in their mission.
“The AFP is grateful for its partners in the academe for supporting our advocacy to help our soldiers’ families secure a brighter future. This is essential in uplifting the morale and welfare of our troops, especially those in the frontlines,” General Ricardo R Visaya, AFP Chief of Staff said.
“The AFP is optimistic that an increase in the soldiers’ morale will amplify their resolve to better perform our mandate to secure the sovereignty of our nation,” General Visaya added.